Tips for Picking a College From a Student’s Perspective
Dec 13, 2018
When I was graduating from high school, I wish I had known as much then about picking a college as I do now. As parents and students, there’s very little information available to prepare you for the journey of applying to schools and choosing your best option!
Factors to consider
With so many important factors to consider, here are some of the most important ones to discuss with your teen.
Campus Location – Consider the distance from home and the cities around campus. If you don’t have a car, how easy are classes to get to?
Campus Size – How important are small or large class sizes to you?
Student Organizations – How involved do you want to be?
Food – Do you need a campus meal plan? Have you looked at reviews about the food?
Financial Aid – Does the school provide adequate financial assistance to students? What will be the cost to attend?
The truth is that students should consider as many factors as possible when selecting a college. Choosing to spend four years somewhere is a huge commitment and it can be the little things that make or break your experience, such as scheduling classes or the daily walk to class.
Does this college meet my needs?
Once a student has decided which factors are important, how do you know if the school can meet those needs?
School Website – Check out majors, student groups and grade requirements.
Online Reviews – Learn more from the perspective of students at the school.
High School Counselors – Obtain advice and insight from prior students’ experiences.
Take an Official Visit – Check out everything the school has to offer first hand.
When researching schools, be sure to use more than one resource. It’s important for the student to check out the school individually, get opinions from people with college experience and speak with counselors, whether they work for a high school or the prospective college. Every school has positives and negatives, but it’s important that the student is aware of them before making a decision!
Making the Final Decision
After ranking important factors and researching multiple schools, most students have narrowed down their choices to two or three colleges. It’s important that the student considers their future at the school. As they get older, their wants and needs will also change and the school should rise up to meet those changes. Most students don’t know their final career path when they enter college, so make sure the school offers a well-rounded educational experience.
The final decision often comes down to whether the student was accepted, the amount of financial aid given and the experience at the official visit. Take great time and care during this process because these decisions can change a student’s life. College is a great place to grow as an individual but also create friendships and skills that last a lifetime!
For more local resources for your teen, check out CAP4Kids, a website full of free and low-cost resources and events!
Blake Skinner is an intern with CAP4Kids where he focuses on social media strategy and sharing community resources. He is also a student at Capital University entering his last semester where he studies marketing.
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